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If you're coming to Festival of Voice this October then you might like to explore Cardiff while you're here.

Once you’ve bagged your festival wristbands, you might want to spend a bit of time exploring our bustling and vibrant, capital city.

The HQ for Festival of Voice is Cardiff Bay, a developed docklands area and home to many iconic buildings such as Wales Millennium Centre, the Senedd (home to our Welsh government),  the Pierhead building, and the Coal Exchange (now a boutique hotel).

It’s also well worth going for a walk over the Cardiff Bay barrage to enjoy the sea views across to Devon, or just wander around the waterside bars and restaurants in Mermaid Quay.

Culture vultures

Cardiff is a relatively young capital, but if you’ve got time to explore, you’ll find plenty of historic hidden gems.

In the heart of the city you’ll find Cardiff Castle, which is over 2,000 years old. The castle is open all year round and well worth a visit (grab a tour if you can). Try to find the stone-carved animals along the ‘Animal Wall’ and if you’re feeling brave, you can go on an evening ghost tour.

For art lovers, drop by the National Museum in Cardiff, where there’s a lively series of visiting exhibitions and events, plus an impressive permanent collection - widely regarded as the best selection of French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings outside of Paris.

There are a number of intimate and innovative galleries around the city too, including The Sho Gallery, g39, Cardiff MADE, and the Makers Guild in Wales.

If you’re looking to do some shopping, head to the city’s historic Victorian and Edwardian arcades where you’ll find a wide selection of independent and boutique stores, including the world’s oldest record store, Spillers Records with a great selection of vinyl.

Cardiff bites

The city centre is full of places to eat and drink, but if you’re looking for independent food venues, there are a couple of spots worth trying.

For quick bites, visit Cardiff Indoor Market, with its food stalls and great coffee.

Around the city, you’ll find a variety of great cuisine to suit a variety of tastes and budgets including Curado, Dark by Dusty Knuckle, Grazing Shed, vegan treats at Atma or the wonderful Wild Thing.

A bit further out from the centre, check out Milkwood, Heaney’s, Bangkok Cafe, Mowlana, Vegetarian Food Studio, or try some fabulous Indian street food at Pooja.

Feeling thirsty

After a drink with great vibes?

Visit the Blue Honey Night Cafe, which also has great vegan food, DJs and other live events and you can shop for house plants while you’re there.

Other venues to try include Tiny Rebel Cardiff, the Dead Canary, Minsky’s, Porter’s (which also houses Cardiff’s only pub theatre, The Other Room), Lab 22, plus a new addition to the city’s thriving cocktail scene, The Botanist.

Outside of the centre you’ll want to check out St Canna’s, Crafty Devil, Sunflower & I, and if you’re after an incredible sunset view, head back to the Bay and the Look Out Cafe in the World of Boats for a pint.

To indulge your mezcal cravings, seek out La Pantera, where there’s a fresh cocktail and taco menu every week. Or if you fancy some late night ping pong and retro gaming, head to Kongs.

If you’re into your fitness then make time for the Cardiff Park Run, five kilometres around Bute Park, an epic expanse of green, right at the heart of the city.

And even if you don’t decide to run around it, make sure you go for a walk. It’s nestled behind Cardiff Castle with a beautiful walk along the River Taff.

We also have Cardiff GoodGym, if you’re looking to increase karma points while you’re here.

Have a great time while you’re here and we hope you get a chance to enjoy the sights and sounds of this fabulous multi-cultural city.